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When should you be screened for prostate cancer?

Miami urologist

The American Cancer Society recommends that men make an informed decision with their urologist regarding when and if they are screened for prostate cancer. Miami urologist Dr. George Suarez says the decision should be made after discussing information about the uncertainties, risks and possible benefits of prostate cancer screening.

This crucial discussion should take place at age:

  • 50 for men who are at normal risk and are expected to live at least 10 more years;
  • 45 for men at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer;
  • 40 for men who are at an even higher risk (those with more than one first-degree relative who was diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age).

Early detection remains one of the best tools in minimizing the effects of prostate cancer and related treatments. Recommended screening tests include a digital rectal exam and a prostate-specific antigen test.

Except for skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. For 2015, the American Cancer Society’s estimations for prostate cancer in the U.S. are that there will be over 220,000 new cases of prostate cancer and more than 27,000 deaths from the disease.

About one in seven men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Several major factors influence a man’s risk and unfortunately some of them cannot be altered. Known risk factors for developing prostate cancer are increasing age, family history and race.

About six cases in 10 are diagnosed in men who are 65 or older, and the disease is rare before age 40. Prostate cancer occurs more often in African-American men and in Caribbean men of African ancestry than in men of other races. The reasons for these racial and ethnic differences are not clear.

Prostate cancer also appears to run in some families, which suggests there may be an inherited or genetic link. Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles your risk of developing this disease.

The risk is even higher for men who have a brother with the disease than for those with an affected father. The risk is much higher for men with several affected relatives, particularly if their relatives were young when their cancers were diagnosed.

It’s important to note that while prostate cancer can be a serious disease, most men diagnosed with this type of cancer will not die from it. In fact, almost 3 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.

If you would like to know if now is the time for your prostate screening, contact the office of best Miami urologist Dr. George Suarez today to schedule a confidential consultation.